Asking Questions in First-Grade Mathematics Classes: Potential Influences on Mathematical Thought

Michelle Perry, Scott W. VanderStoep, Shirley L. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the types of questions that are asked in 1st-grade addition and subtraction lessons in Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. Some researchers have argued that knowledge is, in part, constructed through questions and that these may be used differently in U.S. than in Asian classrooms. Thus, each question about addition or subtraction in 311 observed lessons was coded as 1 of 6 types of questions. Analyses revealed that the Asian teachers asked significantly more questions about conceptual knowledge and about problem-solving strategies than did U.S. teachers. In addition, Chinese teachers asked significantly more questions that were embedded in a concrete context than did U.S. teachers. These findings allow speculation that the kinds of questions typically asked in Japanese and Chinese classrooms may contribute to the construction of more sophisticated mathematical knowledge for the children in those classrooms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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